A wonderful combination that really enchanted us with its performance!
I would have no hesitation to admit that the new Marlin 40 was the best Rib I tried at the 61st Genoa Boat Show in terms of set-up and flexibility giving us that amazing feeling of flying so fast and safely carving the peaks of the big waves.
With 35 years of experience in the design and construction of rigid inflatable boats, always adopting innovative and often revolutionary applications in every project, Marlin Boat manages to be a pioneer and show a different approach.
A typical example is the special design of the tubes that remains a real trademark of the company.
The same profile has also been adopted in the new Marlin 40, where the tubes are low in the stern area, so that they lean on the water offering great stability in any weather condition, and high in the bow so as not to affect the navigation and create high "gunwales" that offer maximum protection and safety for passengers.
In this particular model, special emphasis has been given on the comfortable crew’s movement in all directions of the deck, serving the maximum possible livability on board, and less on the configuration of the cabin without this meaning that it cannot comfortably accommodate two adults.
The hull of the Marlin 40 is characterized by the presence of two ventilated steps, the vertical stem and the sharp bow entry as well as the deep V which at the transom reaches 24 degrees ensuring soft navigation and seaworthiness that translates into comfort and safety for occupants.
Marlin 40 can accept outboard engines with a total horsepower of up to 1200 hp, but the 900hp of our test Rib we consider to be an ideal combination with excellent performance.
The deck layout is walkaround along its entire length, with two steps connecting the main cockpit to the various levels of the deck, one at the bow and one at the stern, so that movement around is very easy.
A three-person sofa is formed in the bow area, ideal for sitting and enjoying the navigation when the weather conditions allow it.
Below is a large locker that accommodates the windlass and the anchor chain, while there is plenty of space for the boat's fenders too.
On the roof of the cabin there is a large double sunbathing bed around of which there are wide passageways so that passengers can move freely without disturbing those who relax or sunbathe.
The front part of the bed is raised and becomes the backrest of a double bench looking ahead while forming a very useful gathering area or dining room in the bow.
On the right image you can see how well the bow is designed with the handles, cup holders, speakers and cleats in real functional places.
Under the large bed of the bow is the cabin of the boat which can comfortably accommodate two adults, including a spacious double bed, a wardrobe, and two seats with backrests and of course a separate bathroom with shower.
Three large portholes offer plenty of light and ventilation of the cabin, while the hallway next to the toilet has the right height for even tall people to move comfortably.
The pilot station is on the port, with the instrument panel having the appropriate inclination so as to be able directly to inspect the navigation screens either when sitting or when driving in a semi-upright position.
The helm seats are located at the front portion of the polyester construction that houses the outer kitchen of the boat, with their front part tilted to serve any driving position, while between them there is a wide armrest under of which a very useful space is formed for small items.
Behind the wet bar, in the stern area, there are two benches with a large table between in which 6 people can comfortably sit.
With a very clever mechanism, the backrests of the benches can be moved by turning the rear cockpit into a dinette, sunbathing area or bow-facing seats for use during navigation.
In front of and around the engines, a very large free surface is formed that occupies almost five square meters, ensuring our comfortable and risk-free movement either when boarding or when preparing for our marine activities.
Marlin 40 equipped with the three 4.6L V8 300hp Verados, which with a gear ratio of 1.85: 1 were turning the ECO Enertia 16" x 21" stainless steel propellers, constitute an ideal combination with excellent performance in terms of cruising speed and acceleration as well as ride quality.
What impressed us the most was that we felt like we were piloting a racing Rib with incredible flexibility despite its large size, feeling absolutely safe even when flying with high speeds on the peaks of the high waves having the throttles flirting with the console’s gel coat.
The south wind that was blowing on the day of our test in the Gulf of Genoa raising big waves, created thus ideal sea conditions for a real evaluation of an inflatable boat of this size.
With 200 liters of fuel and 4 crew members, the Marlin 40 got on plane instantly without raising its bow at all, while accelerating to 30 knots in 5.5 seconds and reaching 40 knots in 8 seconds.
It was standing on plane at 2000 rpm keeping a speed of 13 knots, a fact that is very important when traveling in bad weather conditions, offering us a comfortable and safe navigation while maximizing our autonomy.
You can see our detailed measurements in the table below:
I turned the bow against the waves and slowly pushed the throttle forward to get a first sense of the hull behavior of the boat. Marlin 40 immediately gained my confidence and I quickly found myself heading at high speed.
The sharp entry of the vertical bow minimized the surface of the hull that came in contact with the water and thus penetrated with great ease the peaks of the big waves, offering us an extremely pleasant and soft ride.
The handling of the boat was so enjoyable and pleasant as if playing with a toy, while its unique flexibility, immediate response of the throttle and explosive accelerations gave us the impression that we were driving a much smaller boat.
We had in our hands a very well balanced boat which in combination with the deep V of its hull offered us great comfort and very soft cruising, without any pounding at all even in our low flights, maintaining always its contact with the water.
Putting the waves on aft quarter, I could comfortably maintain a constant speed of 35 knots where the Rib was slipping without any resistance on the backs of the waves, while the bow was standing steadily high without the risk of nailing in the waves’ backside, although I didn’t trim particularly the engines out nor taking advantage of the high rake of propeller’s blades.
Our ride was so enjoyable that Marlin 40 constantly challenged me to have the throttles permanently nailed forward.
That was the reason why we were going around at high speed covering several miles. After we really enjoyed the offshore capabilities of the hull we started to record our measurements.
At 3000 rpm we were riding at 25 knots burning 3 liters per each nautical mile.
At 3500 rpm our speed reached 30 knots with the fuel consumption increasing by just 0.1 liter per mile.
These are also the most economical cruising speeds we have recorded, which are really worth noting because they are a great performance that allows us to travel long distances relatively quickly and with great economy, having the engines running smoothly.
At 4000 rpm we ran at 35 knots burning 3.6 liters per mile, while at 4500 rpm we reached 41 knots with a fuel consumption of 3.4 liters per mile.
At WOT, the engines reached 6000 rpm and Marlin 40 53 knots of top speed.
It is worth noting that the above numbers can be further improved when traveling with more favorable weather conditions.
Because the numbers are the most objective judge and the mirror of boat’s performance, it is really worth taking a closer look at the slip percentages we have recorded which are extremely low throughout the whole rpm range, demonstrating an excellent set-up.
It is impressive that even at 3000 rpm the slip is only 10.7% while at 3500 rpm 8%. Excellent numbers by ECO Enertia propellers that show the amazing stern lift they achieve and lead to the minimization of wet surfaces, resulting in higher cruising speeds and maximum fuel economy.
It is really wonderful to be able to get almost the maximum efficiency of our propellers in the low rpm area which concerns the vast majority of our use, and thus be able to travel at the higher possible cruising speeds, limiting the fuel consumption and of course achieving excellent handling of our boat.
MARLIN BOAT S.r.l.
Via Luigi Galvani, 2 - 22070 Luisago (CO)
Phone. +39 031 889 844 / +39 031 889 866
Fax: +39 031 889 844